My word it’s quiet this time of the year. Well, as far as Arsenal goes but there’s still plenty of football going on, certainly for a few of he under 21’s. Calum Chambers, Rob Holding, Hector Bellerin and Krystian Bielik are all in Poland trying to win the Euros which concludes on the 30th June.
The competition may not mean much to us but it certainly will do them although depending on how far England and Spain go, it could have an impact on our start to the season which kicks off on the 6th August.
Also, there’s the Confederations Cup taking place right now and I think in this we just have Alexis Sanchez and Shokran Mustafi involved. Again though, depending on how far their respective country goes will determine when they get involved in pre-season and the new campaign. The final takes place on Sunday 3rd July.
The players normally return to pre-season training around the first/second week in July which really isn’t that far away. Right now though, other than those listed above, the rest are on holiday enjoying the sun, sea and in Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s case… a hammock!
I digress. This picture comes from The Mail, together with a baseless story about how the Ox has grown frustrated with the lack of discussions over his new contract and he’s so furious, he’s ready to leave with Liverpool and Chelsea leading the race. Utter rubbish eh. Anyway, I wouldn’t mind my tootsies being dipped into those lovely clear waters, even if it did mean I had to suffer sitting in a hammock next to the Ox. I’m sure more photographs will emerge over the coming days as the boys enjoy a rest. I would say a well earned rest, however….
So, pre-season. It’s a busy one with a lot of travelling miles wise and some really tough opposition. Not in Australia of course which is our first port of call to face a Sydney FC side and then two days later Western Sydney Wanderers.
From Sydney to Shanghai where on Wednesday July 19th where we play Bayern Munich in the International Champions Cup. A couple of days later it’s Chelsea in Beijing which will be a dress rehearsal for the Charity Shield just a couple of weeks later. Once that match is done and dusted, it’s back home for The Emirates Cup where we’ll face both Benfica and Sevilla.
Between now and there though I think it’s fair to say that all eyes are on the transfer window. Will Mbappe make the move to north London, what about Dybabla, could he be the big one arriving instead? What about Thomas Lemar, can Arsene Wenger convince the Frenchman that Arsenal FC, regardless of the lack of Champions League is the best place to be? After all, who’d want to be in Liverpool on a dark, wet and cold winters night? There’s links to Sander Berge too, a younger player from Norway who plays in the defensive midfield position and who can forget Lacazatte as he’s been heading to Arsenal for the last five summers hasn’t he?
In truth, there’s plenty of rumours if you can be bothered to look but they’re mostly garbage.
One which doesn’t seem to be though relates to Darren Burgess. The Australian born fitness expert is reported to be on the verge of taking up a new role as director of high performance within the club’s backroom staff. An Ivan Gazidis recruitment apparently but Burgess is no stranger to English football having spent a few years with Liverpool but apparently there was a fallout when Brenda Rogers employed his own fitness team and with that, Burgess left. He was desperate to return to English football though as it’s always been ‘his dream’ say The Telegraph.
I know absolutely nothing about the guy but if he’s as good as what we read, he may just have an impact on our season ahead, certainly mentally and physically and boy couldn’t we have done with a bit of help in that department during the dreadful couple of months which included losing to a Big Sam’s side 3-0!
That’s about it for another day. Good luck to England under 21’s later, hopefully Rob Holding will start this one. England need a win or they could have one toe on an aeroplane heading home…
It’s tipped to be the hottest day on record here in England today so SP50 on! Be safe…
PS – Takuma Asano has been refused a work permit again, so he’s agreed a deal to remain at German side VfB Stuttgart for another season. Better luck this time next year eh….